Funding to help 800 people into housing

Homeless generic webcrop

The Scottish Government is set to invest £6.5m in the Housing First initiative, which prioritises finding permanent housing for the homeless quickly

9th October 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity has described a £6.5m fund to help homeless people into housing as a game-changer.

The Housing First initiative aims to see those who become homeless rehoused quickly - even if they have complex needs

Its implementation has been led by charity Social Bite, with the money raised by its Sleep in the Park event last year being used to support 200 people into permanent accommodation.

However now more than 800 people are set to benefit from the scheme, after the Scottish Government announced it would provide £6.5m towards the initiative.

Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn said the money would help charities to tackle homelessness in Scotland head-on.

He said: “With this funding pledge, the Scottish Government has demonstrated a commitment that will see Scotland become by far the largest provider of Housing First in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

“What this means in reality, is that 830 people will be helped off the streets into housing with support and we will have taken a major step forward in re-structuring how we respond to homelessness as a society. In my view that amounts to a game-changer when it comes to tackling the issue of homelessness in Scotland and the Scottish Government deserves the upmost credit for backing it."

The announcement was made by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in her closing speech at the SNP conference this afternoon (Tuesday 9 October).

Sturgeon said: “Many people who become homeless or end up sleeping rough have complex needs that require specialist support as well as a house.

“Traditionally the approach has been to provide support and get a person tenancy ready before giving them a house.

“But that can mean they spend long periods of time in temporary accommodation, making it harder for them to address the other issues they face. We want to change that.”